Table 1.

Practical Lessons in International Primary Care Research

Approaches to protecting human subjects participating in research differ among countries, requiring additional time and effort for compliance
Data collection and data entry processes based in clinical practice vary among countries, and what works in one country will not necessarily work in another, making pilot testing even more important
Data transmission services transporting data in various formats from one country to another are not under the control of investigators and may not be stable throughout a study
Duties and tariffs on necessary equipment may be an additional expense
The value of national currencies fluctuates, sometimes widely, possibly leading to excessive or inadequate funding
Incapacitation of an investigator in any collaborating country can disable an international investigation and not be overcome readily
Already complex administrative tasks associated with research are even more complicated when different systems in other countries are used, and these tasks require expert management in every participating country
There are direct costs associated with collaboration, and these expenses are essential, likely larger in international research, and should be included in grant budgets
Strong, personal relationships among investigators can create new understanding and overcome much adversity
Things take longer in international research